Hundreds are expected to attend the annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day Commemorative March in Long Beach on Monday to mark Dr. King’s 91st birthday.
The march will honor the life and legacy of Dr. King, the civil-rights leader who was assassinated in 1968.
The annual MLK Commemorative March, will step off at Laurelton Boulevard and West Park Avenue at 11:30 a.m. Local politicians, Long Beach students and many community members are expected to participate. The march will end at Long Beach MLK Center, located at 615 Riverside Blvd., where a Commemorative Program is to be held at noon.
This year’s theme, MLK Center Chairman James Hodge said, is the “fierce urgency of now.” He stressed the importance of this message, particularly in the current turbulent political climate. King used the phrase in his famous “I have a Dream” speech at the March on Washington in August 1963.
“We are now faced with the fact that tomorrow is today. We are confronted with the fierce urgency of now,” Hodge recited. “Now as we find our nation in such a polarized state at this time, we cannot ignore the urgency to act now,” Hodge said. “We must come together as a community and remember we are better together and as Dr. King said: “ We are stronger when we march forward together.”
This year’s keynote speaker will be Dr. Jonathan Shaw, a philanthropist and spiritual leader of the Crown Ministries International, of Brooklyn. Hodge said that Shaw was chosen because of his powerful work helped the lives of many people.
“His message has helped empower and impact many lives in the world and I am very excited that he will be our keynote speaker,” Hodge said.
Hodge said that gospel singer Kiy Lewis will be a special guest. Youth vendors from the MLK Center will be on hand.
For more information on the events, visit www.lbmlk.org or www.longbeachny.gov.
(Updated: The City of Long Beach will not host a tribute ceremony at City Hall on Monday, according to local officials)